A TRADITIONAL Lakes farming spectacle, the annual gathering of the iconic Herdwick sheep from the fells, is being opened to the public for the first time.

The Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association says it is holding the event for both locals and tourists to learn about how the historic Cumbrian sheep breed has shaped the Lakeland landscape.

The event, which is free, takes place on Knott Houses Farm, Grasmere on August 7, from 1-4pm.

The public will be able to see shepherds working with livestock in the farm environment, directly next to the high fells on which the sheep graze.

They will also have the opportunity to see Herdwick sheep up close and learn from the farmers about why they are so unique and important to the Lake District.


The open afternoon will inform and educate both tourists and locals on the vital work of hill farmers and how they shape and manage the unique cultural landscape of Cumbria.

Herdwick farmers will be on hand to explain to visitors the link between farming, food, landscape, environment and the culture it supports.

Will Rawling, chairman of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association, said: “It’s vitally important to educate the public about the role hill farmers play not just in producing food, but managing the landscapes we all love in the lakes.

“We’re working to create better understanding of how the countryside works.

“Hill farming is more than just farming, it’s about managing and preserving the landscape, it’s important and unrecognised work.”

Mary Houston, from Taste Cumbria, said: “This is a great event to create a dialogue with farmers and consumers about the cultural importance the Herdwick breed and connect landscapes to the food we enjoy.”

Exhibitors at the fell gather include Ian Lawson selling selling prints from his Herdwick — a Portrait of Lakeland book, The Herdy Company, Cherchbi, Wools of Cumbria Carpets. Refreshments will be served from Tim Brown of Amazing Grazing.

The Fell Gather also features local crafts, giftware stalls, and refreshments.